Christmas came early this year at the Valley Indoor Swap Meet in Panorama City, Calif. Last week the market held a Christmas posada, a traditional Hispanic holiday event with singing, treats, and a piñata for the kids. And this week Santa came for a visit with the children. But there were also presents! Thousands of presents! Even before Christmas Eve.
As property manager Aurelio Navarro explains, “It’s a free event. The kids line up, they get a free visit with Santa, and they receive a free toy. Every kid walks away with a smile.”
This is the third annual holiday toy giveaway at the 180-vendor-strong swap meet, says Navarro. “The first year we did it we gave away 1,500 toys. We had an increase in parents and kids and family members who came out. The second year we gave away 2,000 toys, and this year we are preparing for an extra 500 or so kids to come out.”
Of course, by “we,” he means that the market hosts the event, and Santa gives away the presents. “There’s everything you can think of,” Navarro adds, mentioning “dolls, Hot Wheels, remote control cars.”
Isn’t this expensive? “It is,” Navarro says, “But its also something that a lot of people can’t afford around this community, so we try to give back.”
Navarro tells FleaMarketZone that although Santa has been very busy, the jolly old elf did stop by with a few kind words. “He actually said that he has a lot of great kids on his list,” says Navarro, “and he has been really happy to see all the children come out to visit him at the Valley Indoor Swap Meet.”
Photo credits, with thanks: Valley Indoor Swap Meet.